My Residency with Gang of Witches at the Coven
Gang of Witches is not only an artist collective, which is growing in numbers, we are also branching out into other territories. A residency has been created in Ibiza; an island known for among other things, yoga retreats, health and meditation. This residence is called the Coven. It is situated in the hills above Ibiza hidden in a pine forest in the Mediterranean Basin. With no neighbors its elevated location affords a gorgeous view of the sea. In fact, it is in perfect surroundings for serenity, inspiration and reflection. Fittingly, it is indeed a sanctuary, a laboratory build for nurturing collectivity and collaborations. The Coven is a creative laboratory, a place to construct a sustainable life in community. Accordingly, an experiment in getting back to basics, simplifying life to get mental rest, in order to face the world as a warrior. Ready to tackle change and transformation. The Coven is an engaged artistic action.
The goal is to
- grow their own food (at least 1/3 coming from the garden) using recycled water
- use mostly solar energy
- have zero waste; to that effect composting and recycling
There are 7 cats at the Coven. I was greeted every morning by their mewing, as we were the only ones up so early.
There is a big table where we have group meals. Meals are vegan and most everyone is alcohol free. At night everyone gathers around the fire place. A warm place to wind down from the day. I was at the Coven as the weather was already cooling down. I can’t wait to come back in a warmer season and use the swimming pool. Best of all, at night there are stars in the pool! Also there are stars (fairy lights) under the awnings, flanking the corridor to the guest rooms. The Coven is an ½ hour hike to a quaint cove by the Mediterranean sea.
At the Coven we pull out tarot cards with a regular rhythm. There is also a Library filled with books on subjects we are passionate about. There is lots of sage burned, the smell of incense is always in the air.
I was invited to paint a Goddess on the walls of the Coven. There have been many artists invited to cover the walls in images of female power. My fresque is a chimera. Half woman half tiger resting in gentle meditation. The Tibetan symbolism of the tiger is «unconditional confidence, disciplined awareness, kindness, modesty, relaxed yet energized, resting in a gentle state of being that has a natural sense of satisfaction and fulfillment”. I was given a color chart to fit in with graphic design concept for the organization. It is made up of earth tones, natural colors of green vegetation, blues of the sea and sky. Colors to evoke nature and the surroundings. They are not colors I usually use. I’m grateful for the challenge and happily surprised by the results.
Photos in slideshow by Luke Atkinson
The coven is also an art gallery with our work set up like altars in their temporary environment before being sent off to their new homes «all over the world, like emissaries of transformation».
The epicenter of the Coven is the art studio. Just next door is the sound/recording studio. An effort has been made to provide every form of support needed. We set in motion POSITIVE CHANGE by starting here. We want to save the planet.
Next four photos by Luke Atkinson
The Goddess of Ibiza
Tanit, who, for centuries has been celebrated as the Goddess of Ibiza, is a warrior woman who represents fertility, dance & creation of life. She is often depicted bearing cornucopias in each hand, from which flow pomegranates and grapes. It may not be by chance that there are two pomegranate trees flanking the front door of the Residence. It feels as though destiny has brought us here.
Gang of Witches and I are working on similar themes; feminism, environmentalism, and spirituality. We walk a common ground, a foundation in self-love and respect for others whether they be human, animal or vegetal.
Here’s a little slideshow of the cats and tattoos: Photos by Luke Atkinson